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Specialized Roll vs Trek Verve

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Specialized Roll vs Trek Verve

Old 02-03-19, 04:55 AM
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YankeeRider
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Specialized Roll vs Trek Verve


I am bike shopping, probably buy in mid-March as I am a fair-weather rider and it doesn't begin to warm up here at the MA/NH border until then. My profile is:
  • 60 years old in May, male
  • 6 feet tall and currently 240lb
  • Have lost a good deal of weight and if my metabolism will cooperate, would like to lose more
  • Used to ride a ton in my 20s and 30s, largely sedentary in my 40s and 50s, working on fixing that too
  • Riding goals are fairly modest
    • Have some fun riding around town and neighboring towns - 20-40 minute rides at first, later up to 90 mins as fitness allows
    • Maybe get a bike rack for the car this summer to visit some other pretty spots further afield in NH & ME
    • 90% street, 10% paths and trails
I currently have a Felt Cafe' 24 (shown above) that I pulled the fenders off of, added SPD pedals to, and bumped the tire size up to some 700x45C slicks. It's actually a pretty nice bike, but I have found that discomfort, actually pain, has been the limiting factor on my rides. The two main things are:
  • I have a crushed disk in my neck, and keeping it cranked back to look ahead with the back angle of riding is not good - I need a more upright back angle to allow my neck to be straighter
  • 30+ years of IT work has my hands and wrists chronically inflamed, and I need to get most of the weight off them while riding

Last edited by YankeeRider; 02-03-19 at 07:56 AM.
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Old 02-03-19, 05:10 AM
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YankeeRider
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Current Contenders


Here are my current leading contenders for my next bike - the Trek Verve 3 and the Specialized Roll. I like to use an image editor to set the two bikes side by side at roughly the same size for easy visual comparison. If I go with the Roll, I'll probably get the Elite, but the Roll Sport pictured above is most comparable in price to the Verve 3- both in the $600s.

Both bikes are "comfort bikes" with rigid frames, and advertised with a more relaxed frame geometry and a more upright riding position, and I think they deliver that. Both have pretty beefy tires with fairly smooth tread - the Verve has 700x45C and the Roll has 650b x 2.3in, which should give them a softer ride, let them soak up street potholes and float over trail gravel and bumps, and provide a more secure feeling when ripping down a hill. Of the two, everything is just a little much so, more so on the Roll when it comes to the comfort adaptations. It has a taller head tube, taller riser bars (tho the adjustable stem on the Verve will allow you to go a little taller than pictured), and a little more laid back seat tube angle.

At this point, I am leaning towards the Roll, as I know I need a significant change. Does anyone have any thoughts about these two, or can you think of similar bikes I should consider also?

Last edited by YankeeRider; 02-03-19 at 05:39 AM.
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Old 02-03-19, 07:51 AM
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They're both nice bikes, the Roll was my favorite of the two. Comfortable and easy rolling down the road.
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Old 02-03-19, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by 308jerry View Post
They're both nice bikes, the Roll was my favorite of the two. Comfortable and easy rolling down the road.
Thanks Jerry - I think the Roll has the riding posture I need to eliminate the pain, and I have been encouraged by comments like yours from owners who seem to really enjoy them. :-)
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Old 02-03-19, 09:08 AM
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I have the Trek Verve1. I won this bike about a year ago. Initially I thought I'd sell it but then thought I'd keep it as a loaner. I took it to Maine last summer to ride around the gravel carriage roads in Acadia park. A lot of these roads can be very hilly but I felt the bike bike performed great. It was very comfortable riding. We did notice most of the rental bikes people were riding were Verve3's. Around town it feels quick and nimble.
I think the 700x45 tires are a good choice for multi surface riding. Gravel,dirt, paved roads I like them.
I did test ride a Roll about a year ago and really liked it. Just not sure about how well it would handle the hills where I ride.
It was a parking lot test. I really like the concept of the Roll though.
Either way both are nice.
I am selling my Verve only because I need the money for another purchase. I would love to keep it.
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Old 02-03-19, 01:00 PM
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YankeeRider
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Originally Posted by 308jerry View Post
They're both nice bikes, the Roll was my favorite of the two. Comfortable and easy rolling down the road.
Did you test-ride both of these, Jerry? If so, how much performance and efficiency did you feel like you were giving up for the Roll's more relaxed geometry and bigger tires? I think I need that geometry due to health issues in any case, but I am still curious. Any other comments from a comparative test-ride (e.g. shifting smoothness,hill experience, joint strain)? I did notice that the Roll's tires, especially on the latest models, are nice and smooth, which I like for such big tires on a mainly-street bike.
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Old 02-03-19, 01:07 PM
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YankeeRider
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Originally Posted by rgram View Post
I have the Trek Verve1. I won this bike about a year ago. Initially I thought I'd sell it but then thought I'd keep it as a loaner. I took it to Maine last summer to ride around the gravel carriage roads in Acadia park. A lot of these roads can be very hilly but I felt the bike bike performed great. It was very comfortable riding. We did notice most of the rental bikes people were riding were Verve3's. Around town it feels quick and nimble.
I think the 700x45 tires are a good choice for multi surface riding. Gravel,dirt, paved roads I like them.
I did test ride a Roll about a year ago and really liked it. Just not sure about how well it would handle the hills where I ride.
It was a parking lot test. I really like the concept of the Roll though.
Either way both are nice.
I am selling my Verve only because I need the money for another purchase. I would love to keep it.

The Verve also looks like a sweet ride :-). I just don't know if it's going to be enough of an improvement in riding posture from my current bike, for my neck & hand issues, which is the whole reason I need a change.
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Old 02-03-19, 01:16 PM
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308jerry
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Originally Posted by YankeeRider View Post
Did you test-ride both of these, Jerry? If so, how much performance and efficiency did you feel like you were giving up for the Roll's more relaxed geometry and bigger tires? I think I need that geometry due to health issues in any case, but I am still curious. Any other comments from a comparative test-ride (e.g. shifting smoothness,hill experience, joint strain)? I did notice that the Roll's tires, especially on the latest models, are nice and smooth, which I like for such big tires on a mainly-street bike.
Rode a friend's for a bit. It was more of an upright ride but it was just nice feeling bike going down the road. Those tires are what makes them cruise right along..
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Old 02-03-19, 01:31 PM
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308jerry
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Originally Posted by YankeeRider View Post
Did you test-ride both of these, Jerry? If so, how much performance and efficiency did you feel like you were giving up for the Roll's more relaxed geometry and bigger tires? I think I need that geometry due to health issues in any case, but I am still curious. Any other comments from a comparative test-ride (e.g. shifting smoothness,hill experience, joint strain)? I did notice that the Roll's tires, especially on the latest models, are nice and smooth, which I like for such big tires on a mainly-street bike.
This one I rode was the lower end of the Rolls. It shifted nice, didn't ride any hills. I was looking at buying one for my wife after riding this one. She hated her Giant/Liv Sedona which was too upright. She ended up with a Giant ATC mtb that she likes. If I didn't have three I would have gotten the Roll for myself.
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Old 02-03-19, 02:13 PM
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I own a Trek Verve (an older model, with a suspension fork) and I have tested a Specialized Roll as well. The Roll has a significantly different feel to me than the Verve. Both are great bikes, but if you ride both, I suspect you'll quickly zero in on one versus the other. Having grown up with rim brakes, and having used them all my life, I have since come to prefer disc brakes, and the Roll offers them. The Verve does not (except if you buy the electric version of the Verve). Rim brakes are generally just as powerful, but I like the feel and consistency of disc brakes, especially nice ones (you can certainly find cheap discs on department store bikes).

Besides the brakes, the biggest difference between them is the handlebar. The Roll has a super high-rise bar (similar to a BMX handlebar) that puts your hands way up above the level of the saddle. To be fair, you could swap to a lower rise bar on the Roll if the high rise is bothersome, or you could swap to a high rise bar on the Verve, if you'd prefer higher hands. I say that to suggest that either bike could be setup pretty closely to the other one, so if you find you like one bike shop better than the other, or the colors of one bike better than the other, you can definitely customize either one to really dial-in the fit.

Enjoy the ride!
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Old 02-18-19, 07:56 PM
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I got a Roll comp x1 last fall and love it. With winter I haven’t been riding much but have managed a few dozen or so 10 to 15 mile rides. I did change the seat for a Selle Anatomica H2. I’m about the same size as you. 5’ 11" 250#. My bike riding buddy has a Verve 3. I’ve ridden it a few times, the longest about 10 miles. I think the saddle on the Verve is slightly better for long rides but neither saddle really suited me. I thought the Roll would be a lot slower than my Trek FX3. I’m averaging almost identical speeds, around 12 mph. I still ride the FX3 when I know I’m going to climb a lot. By that I mean like riding off the mountain and having to gain back 600 ft in about a mile. I can handle steep hills on the Roll but worry I might damage my knees on a long sustained climb. If I could only keep one bike I’d keep the Roll and make it a double with a better climbing gear, or ride enough to not need it.... The Roll is just more comfortable for me, probably because of the huge tires. They soak up bumps and potholes but are not slouches for speed compared to say the 700 x 32s on my FX3. But the riding position is more relaxed. I barely put any weight on my wrist. I can also ride the Roll hands free easier than I can the FX3 and I suspect the Verve. I’d try to ride both a decent distance but I know that is usually impossible for test rides. I suspect the Roll will be easier on your neck issues and for sure wrist but you might like the Verve better. Both are great bikes for fitness IMHO.

Last edited by coyboy; 02-18-19 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 02-18-19, 10:29 PM
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You may be able to fix the Felt with a different pair of handlebars. Jones H Bars comes to mind. Just another option to consider.

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Old 02-19-19, 03:54 PM
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I've owned both, and honestly the Roll has my vote hands down. Hills in seattle were stupid easy on it (roll sport) and it's deceptively nimble and quick for having such large tires on it. The verve felt plenty nice and did what I asked of it, but despite the gearing being pretty close it felt slower and heavier than the roll. Even when I moved back to phoenix I found myself riding it over my normal go-to commuter for work and things. I only sold it to fund my Vaya. If I had room, I'd buy another in a heartbeat. Great bike
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Old 02-22-19, 02:32 PM
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I bought a Trek Verve 2 last year and took of the stock grips and put on Ergon grips and those helped a lot with a writs issue I've had for a long time. I primarily ride on MUPS and some gravel trails and use it to commute to work a couple of times a week in the summer months. I've loved the bike and find it very comfortable on my 7.5 mile commute. Best thing to do is test ride both and see which one feels better.
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Old 02-23-19, 11:51 AM
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Cool Test ride both, then decide..

well if the both cost the same , you pick.. disc or rim brakes , parts pick costs effects the bottom line ,, I have re placed low price point disc calipers for better ones , after I got the bike..

Rim brakes Kool Stop Pads are better than stock, OEM..
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Old 04-30-19, 07:03 PM
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Trek verve

I've 50 plus miles a week for the last 9 months on my verve and it is very nice. The bike is very versatile.
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Old 04-30-19, 09:20 PM
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Roll a better bike IMO.
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Old 05-03-19, 02:10 PM
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I bought a Roll Sport for my son. It is the most upright posture on a bike I have ever experienced. I actually test roder it before I brought him in to look at it, and it is super-comfortable, almost like driving a car.

He's using iit for short hops around campus, and he loves it. I wouldn't want it for great distance, though.
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Old 05-12-19, 05:57 PM
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Trek has 2 disc versions this year.
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Old 06-30-19, 03:14 PM
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YankeeRider
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New Horse!

Finally got the new bike - it is the Roll Elite stepover with the single chainring, yielding a 40-tooth/40-tooth lowest gear. Haven't had it for too long yet, but it's clearly a big improvement on my last bike for comfort. So far, so good!



New Roll on a ride along the Merrimack River in northern Massachusetts
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Old 07-09-19, 06:53 AM
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Awesome!

Fantastic news that you got your roll! I got mine yesterday, waited for a few months with no news of any coming over to Western Australia until a week ago. I get a sore back and my wrists get tired from just being on a mtb for more than 15 minutes, this bike really is a godsend! Happy rolling!
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Old 07-10-19, 05:17 PM
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Both cool looking bikes. Hard to choose.
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Old 07-11-19, 08:37 AM
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Latest Impressions

Now that you've had the Roll Elite for a couple weeks, how do you like it? Do you like the single sprocket and fewer gear options?
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Old 07-29-19, 07:56 PM
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I vote for the Roll
Because of comfort
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Old 08-01-19, 05:33 AM
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YankeeRider
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Originally Posted by Muski3 View Post
Now that you've had the Roll Elite for a couple weeks, how do you like it? Do you like the single sprocket and fewer gear options?
Hi Muski3 - I like it just fine:-). It is definitely a lot more comfortable for me to ride with the more upright riding position both in terms of my hands and wrists and not having my neck cranked back, pain issues now under control when riding.

The suspension seat post in the Elite plus the 2.3in wide tires run at 50-60psi soak up road irregularities pretty well. The wide tires feel stable and give me confidence if I pick up some speed going downhill, but the smooth tread - practically a slick on these Nimbus IIs is still reasonably efficient. The rounded tread profile feels secure when playing around a little bit and making tight s-turns or circles...

The platform pedals are easy and comfortable and work well with any shoe - I usually wear a low trail shoe when riding it as they are comfy but still have a stiff sole. I don't miss all the pedal cleat and cage designs, or the weird shoes that I have left behind :-). I also like the seat - very comfortable and this is needed as the upright riding position takes weight off your hands and transfers it to your butt, they designed this well.

I am carrying extra weight and not in great fitness, so I would ideally like a lower lowest gear than the 1:1 (40-tooth both front & rear) that this provides for going up hills - as you would get with the triple crank model... my last 3 bikes were triple-crank, so I am used to those. On the other hand, it is very simple with the shifting, you're not wondering if some other combination would be better and hunting around - if you want a lower gear, there's only one way to get it, if you want a higher gear, only one choice too, and that *is* nice. All in all I think this was the best choice for me on the drivetrain :-).

Every bike design is a compromise, and this is not a bike for fast/long distance riding. Seems best suited to me for rides of roughly 15 miles or less and a pace of about 10mph (at least for me - your mileage may vary). I am still getting good exercise though, and I enjoy being on it, and I couldn't enjoy other bikes anymore. I got the large stepover for myself and I am thinking about adding a medium "low-entry" model as a kind of universal-fit guest bike for visitors, so yes, I like it :-).



Last edited by YankeeRider; 08-01-19 at 06:48 AM.
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